An Italian visit to Winchester

Thirty-six Italian sixth-form students visited Winchester this week as part of a project on urban design.

They were greeted by the Mayor of Winchester Cllr Sue Nelmes, deputy mayor Cllr Chris Pines and Leader of the Council Cllr George Beckett when they visited Abbey House on Monday (February 25)

The students, who are aged 16 to 18 are specialising in social studies at a high school in Pavia, near Milan, and had prepared a questionnaire for Winchester City Council representatives.

The councillors and chief planning officer Simon Finch spent about an hour being quizzed on the City's history, the council's planning priorities, retention of green spaces and transport.

During their visit the teenagers have stayed with host families around the city, taking English lessons in the mornings and then exploring Winchester in the afternoons. They went to the cathedral, the Great Hall and City Council-run Westgate Museum and Tourist Information Centre where they looked at plans for the Silver Hill development.

Speaking about Silver Hill, trip leader Maria Rosa Gatti said: "We have seen the area that is to be developed and heard different points of view on what it would mean for the city. It has been very interesting for the students as this is exactly what their course is looking at.

She added: "Visiting Winchester has been a very good experience for the students. Everyone has been very helpful and we would like to thank them for giving up their time."